It is out with the old and in with the new at Sullivan High School.
Over the summer the school took on multiple projects.
Although they were all different, they were all done for the same reason.
For schools, safety is a top priority.
That holds true in more ways than just security.
Safety is what lead the Sullivan High School to replace an iconic piece of the building that they hope will be the new seats to history.
The gymnasium at sSHSl is almost unrecognizable. Over the summer the school replaced the old bleachers and refreshed the paint.
“With the new paint, the fresh look, we have new lighting in here it’s a little brighter, we have the new bleachers, we’ve redone the floors. When you combine it, it just creates a better experience for everybody,” says Southwest Schools Superintendent Chris Stitzle.
While the updated bleachers are great for looks they also have newer features on them that add a safety factor.
“Adding these new bleachers with the shorter steps and the handrails is going to provide a lot more safer environment for our community members that come out to events,” says Stitzle.
Principal Tara Jenkins is also an alumni.
She says the new seats are going to enhance the experience for spectators during sporting events held in the gym. “The bleachers that were just taken out were original to this building when I went to high school, so the new look is great and the kids love it.”
In addition to the gym SHS also added a new practice field for the Golden Arrows’ football and soccer teams.
“That will get the football team off the baseball field, which will allow us to do some work on the baseball field. Which ultimately is going to make a safer practice field for football, and a better playing field for baseball,” says Stitzle.
In other efforts to up safety the school laid down new black top so that students and community members have smooth walking and driving surface.
“I just think when you take pride in your school, the kids are also going to take pride in that. And I think that the school board and Mr. Stitzel are very aware of some of the projects that need to be done and it’s been great,” says Jenkins.
The total cost for the bleacher renovation was just over 344 thousand dollars.
The school plans to pay that off in seven years or less.
They are continuing the renovation momentum into next year as well. The school corporation is planning a 2.9 million dollars renovation project that will be divided between the schools. Administrators will decide what projects they will take on by prioritizing the list between all of the schools.